Singapore Arts Festival Presents The Builders Association/motiroti (USA/UK)


The Builders Association/motiroti (USA/UK)






(Asian Premiere)


 Date:  7 & 8 June 
 Time:  8 pm 
 Venue:  Victoria Theatre
 Tickets:  $52, $42, $32, $22
 Duration:  90 minutes (no intermission)


Supported by British Council


“The Builders Association develops its own personality through great attention to narrative, omnipresent humour and a perpetual interaction between stage and screen.” ~ Le Soir


“Brilliant pop theatre marriage of East and West.” ~ The Guardian


For a whiff of fresh electronic breath to Aladdin, the ubiquitous Arabian Night’s tale immortalised on page, stage and screen, watch Alladeen  -- a large-scale cross-media collaboration between New York-based ensemble The Builders Association and London-based company, motiroti.  An Asian premiere at this year’s Festival, Alladeen is set to enthral and hypnotise audiences with its eclectic mix of electronic music and new video techniques.


Inspired by the contemporary phenomenon of international call centres where Indian operators are trained to pass off as Americans, the performance will explore how we function as “global souls” caught up in circuits of technology, and how our voices and images travel from one culture to another.


The performance will alternate the contemporary world of the call centres – a web of technology in which the performers are operators – with spectacular, colourful fantasy sequences drawn from the Aladdin story and early Hollywood and Bollywood Orientalist film aesthetics. 


Directed by Marianne Weems from The Builders Association, co-conceived and designed by motiroti’s founders Keith Khan and Ali Zaidi, Alladeen will examine the modern Silk Route, as defined by technology trade between major cities.


“The craft of telling these stories had so much to do with the trade route,” explained Zaidi. “We wanted to relook at how the contemporary trade routes are being formed, and who the traders are.”


Alladeen fittingly draws on the lives of citizens living in the hybrid, global cities of New York, London and Bangalore, undoubtedly cities of massive multi-cultural interaction. Using the archetypal rags-to-riches story of Aladdin becomes the perfect vehicle for this “collision” since it is one that has been revised and re-told many times.  Similarly, the interaction of ethnicity and cultures within these sprawling metropolises blurs the line between identities, and reflects how cultures reinterpret each other’s signs and stories.


 In addition to the performance, a music video featuring music by celebrated composer Shri, and a Web project will complete this colourful experience, touted to be “a brilliant pop theatre marriage of East and West” (The Guardian). 


Founded in 1993, The Builders Association have explored the interface between live performance and media through six large scale theatre projects, including Xtravaganza (2000), Jet Lag (1998), Jump Cut (Faust) (1997), Imperial Hotel (Faust) (1996), The White Album (1995) and Master Builder (1994). Jet Lag was awarded two OBIE Awards in 2000.


Motiroti was founded in 1990 and was twice winner of a “Time Out London Dance and Performance Award” and recipient of the “BBC Asia award for Achievement in the Arts”. They created the first Bollywood Musical, as a co-production with Theatre Royal Stratford East, Moti Roti, Puttli Chunni (1991), which won them international acclaim.


Please refer to attached annexes for more information.

  • Annex 1 – Profile of The Builders Association and motiroti
  • Annex 2 – Profile of Director & Designers
  • Annex 3 – Profile of Cast
  • Annex 4 – Profile of Crew